Sky is today announcing a partnership with Sporting Equals to support the charity’s ambition of inspiring more opportunities for British South Asians in football.

The partnership forms part of Sky’s £30m commitment to tackle systemic racism and make a difference in communities across the UK and will see Sporting Equals receive a six-figure donation as part of a 12-month initial partnership.

The collaboration stems from a shared desire to help tackle under-representation by addressing some of the barriers affecting the participation and progression of British South Asian football talent, particularly in the women’s game.

Active Lives survey data has consistently shown that South Asian women are the least physically active group in the country with just 0.3 per cent of players in the Women’s Super League progressing from the British South Asian community.

Moving forward Sky and Sporting Equals work together to raise awareness and educate the public on this topic, collaborating with other stakeholders to create opportunities for talent to flourish and supporting participation in the game.

Jonathan Licht, Managing Director of Sky Sports said: “Sky Sports is proud to give a platform to help inspire more opportunities for the South Asian community to get involved in football. Collectively we are striving for greater equality in sport and as Europe’s largest sports broadcaster, we’re well placed to highlight underrepresentation in the game and use our platforms to drive change in this space.

“Building on the excellent job Sky Sports News has done over the past year, the partnership with Sporting Equals is a step further in our commitment to ensuring all audiences feel represented by our content.”

Sporting Equals Chief Executive, Arun Kang OBE said: “Sporting Equals is pleased to be partnering with Sky on this important work, which is a significant step towards engaging and celebrating South Asian communities in football, by removing outdated and negative stereotypes to inspiring the next generation of players, coaches and football administrators.

“It is vital to highlight viable role models, which we will be doing through this project by showcasing football ambassadors, particularly South Asian females throughout community settings. This is of particular significance as part of the issue with South Asian involvement in football is that few have managed to access elite pathways in sport.

“This showcasing of South Asian role models and ambassadors sets out to inspire and connect with wider South Asian communities, so that they too can feel like they have a place in sport.

“Part of this project will also seek to educate footballing organisations about the wide range of talent that is present within South Asian communities. There are still many negative and untrue preconceived notions around South Asians and their ability and talent. With the support of Sky through this partnership we will seek to tackle this issue and demonstrate the true capabilities of South Asians in football.”

About Sporting Equals

Sporting Equals is an independent not-for-profit charity, whose aim is to promote ethnic diversity across the sport and physical activity sector. Its mission is to make a sustainable difference to the inclusion of all under-represented communities in sport and physical activity to help increase participation and improve the long-term opportunities and health outcomes of those communities, as well as to grow elite-level talent.